by Dan Worth
Google has submitted a response to the European Commission (EC) over its anti-competitive business concerns, Reuters reported.
Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia confirmed that Google submitted the documents Thursday evening, just in time for the deadline set by the EC. No details of the response have been made public.
Theoretically Google could face a fine as high as $4 billion – 10 percent of its global turnover – if found to be in breach of European laws.
The Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace (ICOMP), which is backed by the likes of Microsoft, welcomed Google’s response but said the most important thing was for the EC to act to curb any excesses in market dominance.
“To be seen as a success, any settlement must include specific measures to restore competition and allow other parties to compete effectively on a level playing field,” said David Wood, ICOMP legal counsel. “Any settlement must include explicit acceptance by Google of its dominance and that it has damaged European businesses through its anti-competitive practices.”
Google faced similar concerns in the U.S. that came to an end at the start of the year. After theconclusion of the FTC investigation, Google voluntarily made changes to some of its practices, including how it handles search and patent issues and agreeing not to sue willing licensees over standard essential patents.